Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Friederike Welter, David Smallbone and Anita Van Gils
Chapter 8: Openness and Innovativeness within Science-based Entrepreneurial Firms
Einar Rasmussen and Tommy Høyvarde Clausen 1. INTRODUCTION Many studies have demonstrated the potential value of academic research and basic science discoveries for technological change and economic growth (Cohen et al. 2002). However, the process of converting scientific knowledge into new products and services is extremely difficult (Fleming and Sorenson 2004). The knowledge of universities is often ‘less targeted’ to firms’ particular needs and concerns and therefore difficult for firms to assimilate and apply (Cohen and Levinthal 1990). Increasing attention has been paid to the role of science-based entrepreneurial firms (SBEFs) in converting scientific findings into commercial products and services. New ventures are often commercializing more innovative and radical technologies than incumbents (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom 2002) and empirical studies assert that new technology-based firms have an active role in the development and dissemination of technology (Autio and Yli-Renko 1998). Accordingly, governments and universities increasingly rely on the creation of SBEFs as a mechanism to commercialize knowledge and inventions from universities and other public research institutions (Wright et al. 2007). SBEFs face the same challenge as established firms in converting scientific knowledge into products and services with a commercial value, but from a different point of departure. SBEFs originates within the non-commercial university setting and face challenges of adopting to the requirements of the commercial setting (Rasmussen et al. 2011; Vohora et al. 2004). Moreover, SBEFs often develop embryonic technologies with an uncertain market potential (Jensen and Thursby 2001). As a result, SBEFs have a strong scientific foundation, but typically...
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